Dr. Robert C. Cefalo House Officer Award

cefaloThe annually awarded House Office Award was renamed in 2008 to honor Robert C. Cefalo, MD, PhD (FACOG), Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Assistant Dean, Head of the Office of Graduate Medical Education, Emeritus, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Dr. Cefalo received his premed degree from Boston College, his Medical Degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, and his doctorate from Georgetown University. In 1956, he entered the US Navy Medical Corps, where he received his training, and remained within the Navy medical Corps for 24 years.

Dr. Cefalo served with distinction for 25 years as director of the residency and fellowship programs at UNC Hospitals. He served as a model for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in defining the position of Designated Institutional Official (DIO). Under Dr. Cefalo’s leadership, UNC earned national recognition for the development of “best practices” in residency and fellowship programs.

The Robert C. Cefalo, MD, House Officer Award recognizes members of the Hospitals’ Housestaff for exemplary service to patients and families, professional performance and compassionate patient care. A selection committee composed of physicians, nurses and other clinical and administrative staff evaluate nominations and recommend individuals for recognition to the Medical Staff Executive Committee. The general criteria used for recommendation include:

  • Demonstrated empathy for patients and their families
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in listening to and communicating with patients and families
  • Advocacy for and demonstration of the highest standards of patient care
  • Exemplary professional and interpersonal interactions with colleagues, staff, patients and visitors

Previous recipients include:


Megan Quintana, MD


Amita Shah, MD


Michael Phillips, MD


Jeff Dehmer, MD (General Surgery)


Jean Ashburn, MD (General Surgery)

Aaron Garrison, MD (General Surgery)

Mark Joseph, MD (Critical Care Fellow)


Paul Riesenman, MD (General Surgery)


Megan Fuller, MD (General Surgery)

Peter Steenland, MD (Neurosurgery)


Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD (Neurosurgery)

Heather Stefaniak, MD (Urology)


Michaux Kilpatrick, MD (Neurosurgery)

Josh Unger, MD (General Surgery)


Kristen Parker, MD (General Surgery)


Adil Hussain, MD (Cardiothoracic)

Joseph Molitierno, MD (Urology)


Joseph Jenkins, MD (General Surgery)

Karen Stitzenberg, MD (General Surgery)


Michael Heidenreich, MD (General Surgery)

Robert Mendes, MD (Vascular Surgery)